The United Nations Population Division just revised the low end global population projections for 2050, upping the figure 117 million people to nearly 8 billion.
The revision in the low variant’s total fertility rate – the average number of children per woman – was due to a rise in births in Europe and the United States following years of an “artificially depressed” fertility rate, according to demographics expert John Bongaarts. This lower rate was a consequence of large proportions of women delaying pregnancy until later in their lives.
“During the ‘90s, while the average age at childbearing was rising, women became more educated, wanted a job,” said Bongaarts, vice president of thePopulation Council. “That artificial depression is now being removed as the average age of childbearing stops rising.”